Deformed Wing Virus (DWV)
Viral Disease: Vectored by Varroa destructor
The most obvious and easiest virus to identify is Deformed Wing Virus in which the wings of the bee become deformed and shrivelled. Bee with this affliction are useless to the colony and are evicted from the hive – they can often be found “hiding” head down in an empty cell of the hive to avoid evection and certain death. Infected bees also display shortened abdomens and a loss of colouration.
Although the virus can be found in colonies not infected by Varroa destructor mites, the presence of these mites amplifies the virus to very high levels resulting in newly emerged workers displaying the classic symptom familiar to most beekeepers.
It is thought that in infected bees, the hypopharyngeal gland can be full of the virus and thus passing the virus into nectar during the honey making process
Visual Indications of Deformed Wing Virus
In these images, we see the obvious signs of wing deformity and some loss of colouration on the shortened abdomen.